Black Swan


Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. While armfuls of musicians can sing songs and sound entirely forced, insincere and phony, Potts is blessed in that every word he sings sounds authentic, honest and direct. In a musical landscape chock full of Auto-Tune and feigned emotion, a disc like this is certainly something to champion.
  2. Wisely though, they've seen this as a time to consolidate, not experiment or wander off on the tangents which have undermined them in the past.
  3. Alternative Press
    The group's fourth outing supports singer Joel Pott's super-earnest reflections with melodies and arrangements direct and sturdy enough to bear the emotional weight. [Feb 2009, p.92]
  4. Black Swan is a definite sign of progress, though, and the band would do well to follow its path on future releases.
  5. It's an expertly crafted pop record, sure, but Black Swan ultimately reduces to its primary points of reference without any broader context or sense of purpose.
  6. The band's experimental side (the side that made them good) has suffered, as if "Wires" was the new blueprint on how to write successful songs.
  7. This is music for a Hollyoaks montage, or for waving mobile phones in the air to at V festival. It's hard to love.
  8. Ultimately, this smoke-and-mirrors approach will not do. The smoke is too smoky, the mirrors too reflective of too much else out there at the moment.
  9. When alone, the sweeping choruses that swarm Athlete’s fourth record, Black Swan, shoot for the rafters without any substantial emotional anchor—the songs get lost in the clouds.
  10. The closest this popportunistic foursome comes to satisfying songsmithery is "The Getaway," whose title is sound advice for potential buyers of this album.

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